Konkani really rocked on the 3 rd of December at the Goa Velha Church Grounds with a mega concert organized by Heritage Jazz and supported by the Navhind Times.
The concert was unique, with Konkani music being played by a foreign band for the first time ever. Dutch music maestros Saskia Laroo and her quartet set the Church grounds on fire with fantastic renditions of Undra Mojea Mama and many other songs. It was amazing to see Saskia weave magic on her trumpet and set the crowd into a tizzy. People were amazed at her dexterity in handling a different beat altogether, and she did it with aplomb. The Group had different Goan singers who joined them into taking the music to great heights. She started off with “O Mia caro” from the Hello Lorna Album, a jazz and Konkani Folk song which was sung by Marushka Rebelo and Sigmund. She mixed various styles and did the “Goencho Mando” this time with Sigmund and Sonia Shirsat taking on the mike. The very interesting Dulpod medley featuring Undra Mojea Mama and Madgavam Thoiagher followed with the Dhekne “Hanv Saiba Poltodi vetam” adding zing to the proceedings. People went into ruptures when she walked into them with a cordless pick up for her trumpet, and got the village crowd into an energetic response.
The proceedings were started off by the Church group of the Goa Velha Church who started by performing a praise number in honour of Jesus Christ. This was followed by a duet by Ruzai and Jasmine who brought punch to the event by their soulful songs. It was a way of the village folks welcoming a concert with great meaning into their village, and at the same time rolling out a red carpet for the various musicians who had come to their village from all over, and they certainly did a great job of the whole thing.
Soon after the local musicians did a great job with their music offering, the Sigmund de Souza group comprising Sigmund on box guitar and voals, Rocky Lazarus on keyboards, Carlos Gonsalves on drums, Mukesh Ghatwal on keyboards, Tome Fernandes on percussion and Sheldon Pereira on bass, and they performed Sigmund’s original pieces Save Mama Goa in Dulpod Style. It is an original song by Sigmund. The ever lasting number Maria by Chris Perry got the crowd excited, and so did the duet by Sigmund and Sonia Shirsat, of the Mando Dhoreachea Larari. Sigmund followed it with two original songs both with political overtones, one in salute to Dr. Jack Sequeira and the other a dulpod style mock at today’s politicians “Motea Potacho Montri”. He also did a Indo Konkani Western fusion song “Sakallchea parar” with the celebrated violinist from South India, S Harikumar, with the second musician being Mukesh Ghatwal from the Remo Fernandes group.
Marushka Rebelo added colour to the proceedings with the “Zhadd tea ambachem” song by Chris Perry. It is a jazz and fast rock number. She also did “Meu Amor” a Christ Perry and Usha Uthup song besides other songs such as Khobrankaram, Noketra Udentichem and another Chris Perry song Dis ani Mhoinne.
Sonia Shirsat then joined the party with all time favouites from the Konkani films of yesteryear, a fitting finale since the show was held on the closing ceremony day of the Film Festival. It was amazing that an over 2000 people gathered at the show despite it being the Feast of St. Francis Xavier as well as the IFFI closing. According to Armando Gonsalves, it was part of the strategy to showcase Goa’s music as the central pillar of its culture and art, and by pitting it on the same day as the IFFI closing ceremony, it was also a reminder that lots can be done to bring the energetic music of Goa to the international arena, thus helping countless Goan musicians to reach to the stars. Heritage Jazz plans to have a mega music festival in the first week of December next year, and details are being worked out to ensure that it will bring Goan music to the fore.